Saturday, 16 August 2014

Dragon Ball Volume 6: Bulma Returns! Review (Akira Toriyama)


These Dragon Ball books are like comics meth for me. I’m consuming them ridiculously quickly in single-volume gulps as they come in and I think if I had all of them in a pile, I would lock my door and not emerge until they were all read! I think with Dragon Ball Z I might see if I can grab the entire 26 volume series at once and take some time off to consume them wholesale with no distractions – I know I sound crazy, but I’m quite serious!

In this book, Son Goku is making his way up Muscle Tower, fighting his way through the levels to rescue the mayor being held hostage by the Red Ribbon Army (a Nazi-esque organisation also searching for the Dragon Balls). Along the way Goku meets the comedically arrogant ninja Sergeant Major Purple and the Frankenstein’s Monster lookalike, 8-Man, before setting off to the big city to find Bulma to fix his Dragon Ball tracker.

I loved finding out more about Bulma. She came across as this slutty dimwit before but she’s more nuanced now after finding out who she and her family are really like. Her dad is the inventor of the capsules – those things that instantaneously create houses, cars, etc. – which makes her a billionaire heiress and, along with the vast wealth, she’s inherited that genius intellect, inventing, among other things, Goku’s Dragon Ball tracker.

There are some really funny moments too as we find out her mum and dad are pretty liberal, happy for their daughter to fool around with boys and drink sake, while the usually free-wheeling Bulma is reactively conservative around her folks. “Children don’t drink sake!” she yells at her mum after she brings out a glass for Goku! Then her mum says she’d love to find the Dragon Balls herself and wish for a hunk to sweep her away – the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree after all!

Goku is reunited with more of the original Dragon Ball cast just as the Red Ribbon Army begin to close in on them. Unfortunately this means more of the ridiculously pervy Turtle Master who manages to find a new low of spying on Bulma on the toilet – seriously, does anyone besides Akira Toriyama like this awful character?! But it does mean Goku’s back with his training partner Kuririn, so I’m hoping the two get to do some damage to the Red Ribbon lunatics and we see some more awesome magical fighting.

If you’ve only seen the TV show, you need to read the books – they are much, much better! Volume 6 is another fine entry in the Dragon Ball series. Now I’m off to see my dealer about Volume 7…

Dragon Ball Volume 6: Bulma Returns!

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